July 18, 2022

African Leadership Group Acquires Coding School Holberton

On 13 July, coding school Holberton announced that it had agreed to be acquired by the African Leadership Group (ALG).

It comes more than a year after Holberton managed to raise $20 million in a Series B funding round led by Redpoint Ventures.

Daphni, Imaginable Futures, Pearson Ventures, Reach Capital, and Trinity Ventures also participated in the round, which brings Holberton’s total funding to $33 million.

The original promise of Holberton was that it provided students — which it selects through a blind admissions process — with a well-rounded software development education akin to a college education for free.

In return, students provide a set amount of their salary for the next few years to the school as part of a deferred tuition agreement, up to a maximum of $85,000.

But the news of the acquisition means the seven-year-old company, with physical schools across the globe and its core online platform, will split in two. 

According to reports, Holberton’s technology platform will become part of ALG’s existing ALX online learning platform, and the existing 34 physical locations will get spun out to become a stand-alone business under the current Holberton COO Florian Bucher.

The ambition is to train about 200,000 students annually, and currently, it’s working with just under 150,000 students — up from only 2,000 last October.

ALG founder and CEO Fred Swaniker started the organization as a leadership academy (now the African Leadership Academy) for small cohorts of students.

Speaking to TechCrunch, he said with ALX, the group has now set its sights on teaching tech skills to not just thousands but potentially millions of tech workers.

“Four years ago, we realized that the world is going through a digital transformation, and there will be a need for skills like software engineering, data science, cloud computing, cybersecurity — and so we created ALX,” Swaniker explained.

“It’s not a high school. It’s not a university — but it’s for people who already have college degrees, and then we reskill them for these careers in the fourth industrial revolution.”

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Abbianca Makoni

Abbianca Makoni is a content executive and writer at POCIT! She has years of experience reporting on critical issues affecting diverse communities around the globe.